I was born in 1959 in Shelburne, Nova Scotia and have spent my entire life living in the small fishing community of Shag Harbour, which is located on the most southern tip of the province. For generations my family had been involved in the lobster fishery and that should have been my vocation, however I chose a different path in life and pursued a career in the auto industry and for the past 31 years I have been an automotive refinish technician for Allan Christie’s Body Shop in Barrington, N.S.
I saw my TA for the first time in March of 1991, which at that time had been brought into the garage for some work. It was looking a little rough with the paint fading, a few knocks and dings and some broken hardware but there was a certain appeal that was greater than what lay on the surface. Seeing this car brought back a lot of memories. I remembered seeing one of these in the local Pontiac dealers showroom back in the fall of 1979. You see I was an impressionable 18 year old when the first Smokey and the Bandit movie made it’s debut, but back then I knew that a car like this was well outside my financial grasp. At that age it was just a dream which I gave up on and eventually settled for a secondhand Esprit a couple of years later. Now here was this ghost from my past just sitting there calling my name. Now all I had were two small details to iron out....who owns it and will they sell it? Well to make a long story short after two days and a couple of phone calls the owner decided to take my hard to refuse offer. The process of reviving this blast from my past began immediately. In the previous 10 years this car had had a pretty pampered life. It had never been driven during the winter, etc, however within the last six months things had changed. The original owner had recently passed away and the widow’s new boyfriend was starting to go through this thing like he was on a mission to kill it. So there were a few parts and pieces that I had to round up but nothing too severe. After working a few nights and weekends I had the project completed. My first car show event was that summer. Over the years I’ve attended a number of shows and have spent time tinkering around detailing and upgraded the car a bit, but she’s still wearing the same paint that I applied nearly 20 years ago, so I was quite surprised when my employer came to me in the spring of 08 and suggested that I might consider submitting my ride to BASF for inclusion on a future calendar
Each year through our jobber my employer receives a few copies of the BASF refinishing calendar, with is much coveted by the guys in the shop. It is a major 2 ft X 2 ˝ ft wall hanging that showcases 6 cars each year that have had their paint applied by shops that use their products. I kind of brushed it off with a laugh and said; yeah....right. However I did follow through and to my great surprise a couple of months later I received a phone call telling me my car had been chosen for their 2009 calendar and they wanted to set up a photo shoot! I had been collecting these calendars for 20 odd years and I never dreamed I’d see the day that my car would appear on it! Last fall when I received my box of free calendars (with my own personal imprint which is their way of thanking clients for the use of the photo images of their vehicles) I was humbled to discover that I had been given the prime Jan. / Feb. page. Needless to say all of this has renewed my interest in the car and the club. You see I originally joined the Bandit Trans Am club back in 1992, which was not too long after I had bought the car. Early on I enjoyed the shows as well as researching the car, collecting literature, parts, etc (At one point I owned a 79 as well as my 80 Y-84) however over the years one’s interests change etc. Now things have come full circle and I have decided to rejoin the flock.
Aside from my interest in cars I have for the past 42 year been involved in the field of numismatics, (coin collecting) and have been a long standing member with both the Atlantic Provinces Numismatic Association and the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association, which I originally joined in 1982, and am now serving in their capacity as Area Director for the provinces of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. Throughout the years my enjoyment of the hobby, and my interest in the sea and local history has developed into a passion for shipwreck coins. During the past 12 years I have written several articles and have made numerous presentations, and award winning displays on this subject, and in 2005 my expertise secured me a position with Deepstar Exploration of Halifax, N.S. as their Numismatic Consultant on the Auguste shipwreck project.
(This is a nice picture Doug sent in. It's him and his grandson holding a trophy for a pedal car Doug restored for him!)
You have to love that!